Baseball Canada announced its 24 man roster for the 2015 Pan-Am games which will be held in Toronto next month. The roster features four former MLB players, including pitcher Adam Loewen, of Surrey.
Loewen, now 31, was the fourth overall pick in the 2002 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles, the highest a Canadian-born player has ever been selected. However, Loewen’s MLB career would never get off the ground as he suffered numerous injuries to his pitching elbow which would eventually cause him to switch to a position player in 2007.
At this time, Loewen’s contract required that he stay in the major leagues, but he obviously would need time in the minor leagues to transition from being a pitcher to a position player. This led to Loewen and the Orioles mutually agreeing to terminate the contract so Loewen could try and get his career back on track as a position player.
It would be four years before Loewen’s name would be heard in a Major League ball park again, but in 2011 Loewen made his debut as a position player with the Toronto Blue Jays in a game against the Boston Red Sox. Loewen would record his first career hit in the eighth inning of the game off of relief pitcher Daniel Bard. Four days later, he would hit his first career home run against his former team, the Baltimore Orioles. Two months later, he would be released by the Blue Jays.
Since then, Loewen has bounced around the minor leagues with the minor league teams of the New York Mets, the Toronto Blue Jays and most recently the Philadelphia Phillies. This is where Loewen’s career gets interesting again as he has made a return to the mound with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Reading Fightin Phils, the AAA and AA affiliates of the Phillies. In 19 games this season, Loewen has been credited with two wins and two losses and has an ERA of 2.56 in 31 and two thirds innings.
For Loewen, these upcoming games will be his opportunity to show fans, and more importantly MLB scouts, that he can still pitch at a high level. Before Loewen can even think about the Majors though, he has to focus on the challenge ahead of him. That challenge begins on July 11th against the Dominican Republic as the Canadians look to defend their gold medal from the 2011 games.